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Farewell, Pushcart Queen

Farewell Pushcart Queen: Jean Merrill has passed away from cancer. Many of her 30 books were young adult stories which followed underdogs in conflict with powerful interests. Her most well-known books were The Pushcart War, about a confrontation between New York pushcarts and the trucking industry, and The Toothpaste Millionaire, about a young African American entrepreneur who challenges big business. (previously) [more inside]
posted by honest knave on Aug 12, 2012 - 33 comments

Der Totentanz

Ein Totentanz (1922), by Walter Draesner, is a book of astonishing papercut silhouettes showing death's visits to different kinds of victims. Some of the more spectacular ones are Death and the aviator, Death on the railway, and Death and the soldier. (A previous Totentanz FPP, and another with a link to an English language description of the phenomenon) [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Aug 11, 2012 - 24 comments

"What else could one do to culminate a career than to become a very great international star as the voice of a Muppet?"

You probably didn't know the name or face of New Zealand actor Jonathan Hardy, but you may recognise his voice: he was Dominar Rygel XVI in TV's Farscape. But did you know he was also an Academy Award-nominated scriptwriter? He died at his home in the NSW Southern Highlands on Sunday. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Jul 31, 2012 - 44 comments

Idaho couple recover drowning victims

Five months ago, she vowed to find him. It wasn’t the RCMP who could help, or even a Canadian. Instead, Ms. Smith turned to Gene and Sandy Ralston, an Idaho couple who zig-zag North America in their 32-foot motor home, helping recover bodies from lakes and rivers when authorities can’t, or won’t. They don't get paid, and in some years rack up nearly 50,000 kilometres. They do it simply because people ask.
posted by emcat8 on Jul 29, 2012 - 25 comments

RIP Mary Tamm

Mary Tamm, best known as the first Romana from Doctor Who's Key To Time series between 1978–1979, has died. She left the show after just one year feeling that her role had devolved into the "typical assistant" trope, and went to to have a varied career on stage and screen in the UK, including a three-year stint on Brookside. She had been suffering from cancer for 18 months.
posted by Mezentian on Jul 26, 2012 - 56 comments

To a deluxe apartment, in the sky...

Sherman Alexander Hemsley died today at the age of 74. Perphaps best known for his role as George Jefferson on All in the Family and its spin-off, The Jeffersons, Hemsley's career spanned over four decades, including working on stage, in films, and of course, appearing (or starring in) in many TV shows.
posted by KillaSeal on Jul 24, 2012 - 71 comments

Death, Death, Death, Revolution!

Mortician Caitlin Doughty - founder of The Order of the Good Death - answers some questions. Episodes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. She also writes a very interesting blog. [more inside]
posted by sonika on Jul 20, 2012 - 12 comments

"The FDA recalled more than 60,000 tissue-derived products between 1994 and mid-2007."

"The business of recycling dead humans into medical implants is a little-known yet lucrative trade. But its practices have roused concerns about how tissues are obtained and how well grieving families and transplant patients are informed about the realities and the risks." After an eight month international investigation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has published an extensive four-part exposé into the black market for cadavers and human tissue: Skin and Bone: The Shadowy Trade in Human Body Parts (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 20, 2012 - 32 comments

Not Fade Away

On living, dying, and the digital afterlife
posted by latkes on Jul 11, 2012 - 19 comments

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and pain relief at the end of life

Although many people would prefer a painless, instant death—no suffering, just lights out, quickly, permanently—others would have some variation of what seems to be Tolstoy's version of the good death: a conscious one, with acceptance of whatever comes. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Jul 5, 2012 - 39 comments

They would say, 'We don't care what happened with your son, you have to pay us'.

A few months after he buried his son, Francisco Reynoso began getting notices in the mail. Then the debt collectors came calling. Now, he's suffering a Kafkaesque ordeal in which he's hounded to repay loans that funded an education his son will never get to use — loans that he has little hope of ever paying off. Despite the help of a lawyer, Reynoso has not been able to determine exactly how much he owes, or even what company holds his loans.
posted by unSane on Jun 19, 2012 - 59 comments

British Columbia court legalizes assisted suicide

The British Columbia Supreme Court has struck down a ban on physician-assisted suicide, in a whopping 1415-paragraph decision. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Jun 15, 2012 - 57 comments

Mount Everest Traffic Jam

A 73 year old returned, making it seem easy, yet increased traffic left four people dead this weekend. Traffic jams at Mount Everest. [more inside]
posted by bquarters on May 23, 2012 - 91 comments

On Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747 jumbo jet carrying 243 passengers and 16 crew members, took off from Heathrow Airport in Britain, bound for New York.

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, Convicted in 1988 Lockerbie Bombing, Dies at 60. [NYTimes.com] Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the 1988 bombing of an American jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, has died in Libya, family members told news agencies on Sunday, nearly three years after Scotland released him on humanitarian grounds, citing evidence that he was near death with metastatic prostate cancer. He was 60.
posted by Fizz on May 20, 2012 - 44 comments

Woody Allen's favorite question.....

Is death bad for you? [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on May 19, 2012 - 99 comments

Junior Seau RIP

NFL great Junior Seau, who spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Chargers, with additional runs with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead today of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch on May 2, 2012 - 110 comments

"Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"

The Boundaries of Life and Death is a lovely short animation inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe quotation;
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"
[more inside]
posted by quin on May 2, 2012 - 3 comments

Computer Science: Still have Byte? Or Down to Bits?

While growth prospects in the field are incredibly high, recent trends, such as "tools grow[ing] more advanced" (see Adobe Flash Builder or MS Visual Studio) have had people wondering over the past few years if computer science has much room for growth left. Some question whether it is alive. Others, such as Carnegie Mellon, say not so fast. In any case, employment has been a bit iffy (/.). There is the possibility that Computer Science is simply growing up (PDF), then again the U of Florida decided to say good bye to it this past week. But hey, if you are not going to that University, and still are shooting for computer science, here are some tips.
posted by JoeXIII007 on Apr 23, 2012 - 57 comments

Near Death, explained

"...Pam agreed to die in order to save her life—and in the process had what is perhaps the most famous case of independent corroboration of out of body experience (OBE) perceptions on record...Pam later said, she felt herself “pop” out of her body and hover above it, watching as doctors worked on her body. Although she no longer had use of her eyes and ears, she described her observations in terms of her senses and perceptions...with considerable accuracy.

NDE studies [such as these] suggest that after physical death, mind and consciousness may continue in a transcendent level of reality that normally is not accessible to our senses and awareness."
Near Death, explained. [more inside]
posted by anazgnos on Apr 23, 2012 - 111 comments

A Perspective on Death

Here's a thought-provoking interview with Philip Gould in which he describes his reaction to his impending death from oesophogeal cancer. [more inside]
posted by richyoung on Apr 20, 2012 - 13 comments

Death by pimple

The 13 strangest composer deaths in classical music
posted by NemesisVex on Apr 13, 2012 - 34 comments

Eulogy for a pretty swell guy

Young Edd Gould always enjoyed drawing comics of himself and his friends. Growing up in the internet age, his doodles evolved into Flash animations of increasing complexity, and in time Edd and pals Tom Ridgewell and Matt Hargreaves teamed up to produce an "Eddsworld" series of online webtoons and comics. At first crude and halting, the group's "eddisodes" progressed from surreal shorts and one-shots into full-fledged productions that pushed the boundaries of amateur web animation, with expressive characters, full soundtracks, complex effects, and a fast-paced, off-kilter sense of humor: MovieMakers - Spares - WTFuture - Rock Bottom - Hammer & Fail (2). At its height, the college co-op was producing shorts for Mitchell & Webb and the UN Climate Change Conference, fielding offers from Paramount and Cartoon Network, and racking up millions of hits on YouTube. Work slowed, however, when Gould was diagnosed with leukemia -- a relatively survivable form, though, and Gould carried on working gamely through his hospital stays. So it came as a shock last week when Matt and Tom announced that Edd had passed away, prompting an outpouring of grief and gratitude from all the fans he'd entertained and inspired in his short 23 years.
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 2, 2012 - 5 comments

Rest in Peace

Alexis Rivera, Transgender Rights Advocate, Dies In California Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center, in a statement: "She understood that we are stronger together, and she kept organizing until the very end. Alexis' death is a reminder that the fight for equality -- and against AIDS -- is far from over."
posted by Ruthless Bunny on Mar 30, 2012 - 26 comments

Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs" sung by Jessye Norman

In the sixty-odd years since their composition, the Four Last Songs have acquired in many people’s minds an unassailable status as simply the most beautiful music known to them, to be listened to in a dimly lit room and a state of rapt meditation, surrendering to the extraordinary spell of profound, other-worldly calm that they cast. This is not surprising. They were, indeed, the last things of any significance that Strauss wrote, between May and September 1948, at the age of eighty-four. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 24, 2012 - 11 comments

Andrea Yates, 10 years later

"Andrea Yates' story tracks so many of the themes we talk about all the time today. The role of religion in family life. The cognitive dissonance of so many marriages. Lingering stigmas about mental illness, especially as they relate to postpartum depression. The Yates trial was a big deal 10 years ago — even though it was overshadowed by the fallout from 9/11." The Atlantic looks back at the Andrea Yates case and how she's doing now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 20, 2012 - 145 comments

"As with other online businesses, the site promised convenience and efficiency."

Need a spouse or uncooperative business associate taken care of? Have no fear! HitmanForHire.net is here.
posted by reenum on Mar 11, 2012 - 26 comments

.

Jan Berenstain, Co-Creator Of Berenstain Bears, Dies [NPR.ORG] Jan Berenstain, who with her husband, Stan, wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears books that have charmed preschoolers and their parents for 50 years, has died. She was 88.
posted by Fizz on Feb 27, 2012 - 83 comments

Pushing Mushrooms

"We want to eat, not be eaten by our food, right?"[TED]. Artist/MIT graduate Jae Rhim Lee's current project explores the possibility of, and interest in ecologically responsible interment. She is currently cultivating personalized Infinity Mushrooms, which in combination with the Mushroom Death Suit will promote postmortem mycological growth, and more importantly intimacy with and acceptance of the physical realities of decomposition as vehicles toward death acceptance. [more inside]
posted by obscurator on Feb 22, 2012 - 18 comments

Anthony Shadid, 1968-2012

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid has died on assignment. (NYTimes) Shadid, 43, died of an asthma attack while reporting in Syria. His colleague, photographer Tyler Hicks, carried his body over the border into Turkey. [more inside]
posted by Madamina on Feb 16, 2012 - 50 comments

Nobody is that bad of a person

A tragic fire in Honduras has claimed the lives of hundreds of inmates as a "hellish scene" unfolded as hundreds of inmates were caught up in a prison fire in Comayagua. [more inside]
posted by RolandOfEld on Feb 15, 2012 - 12 comments

She is gone

She is gone. A Valentines story of love and loss.
posted by ColdChef on Feb 14, 2012 - 28 comments

John Alan Schwartz: From Faces of Death to reviewing movies on YouTube

"I said before the film has historical importance (and it does), but it's relevance was more recognized in 1978 than the present day. The YouTube generation will be unable to comprehend what purpose the film served thirty years ago, and thus it's difficult to ignore how hopelessly dated Faces Of Death really is." It's relevance may have faded, but the intrigue remains. Deadspin recently interviewed the writer and producer of four compilations of death and gore, John Alan Schwartz. And of course, they discuss the fake gore in the monkey scene (interview clip with special make-up effects creators Allan Apone and Douglas White, with the memorable scene). And what is Schwarts up to today? He and his wife post videos of their movie reviews on YouTube (Tumblr, YouTube profile page, their website).
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 6, 2012 - 53 comments

Top five regrets of the dying

Top five regrets of the dying. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives.
posted by ClanvidHorse on Feb 2, 2012 - 196 comments

"...obituaries are about the juicy stuff of life..."

“Obituaries are not about death. They are a celebration of life." The Art of the Obituary [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 30, 2012 - 14 comments

Step Four: DIE.

if i die: if i die is the first and only facebook application that enables you to create a video or a text message that will only be published after you die. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jan 24, 2012 - 74 comments

Real Dead Ringer For Love

Is Necrophilia Wrong?
posted by veedubya on Jan 24, 2012 - 248 comments

My Father, Always Fond of a Long Shot, Chose to Have His Cancerous Tounge Removed

Diagnosed with cancer, my father decided to have his tongue removed. It’s an extreme treatment, but he’s always known how to make things work out.
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 14, 2012 - 20 comments

Billy Donovan's Secret Sorrow

Three basketball coaches share the experience of a single type of tragedy.
posted by reenum on Jan 5, 2012 - 6 comments

"Without your space helmet, Dave, you're going to find that rather difficult."

Human Exposure to Vacuum
posted by troll on Dec 28, 2011 - 74 comments

Every death on every road in Great Britain 1999-2010

The BBC has put up a page presenting statistics dealing with deaths on British roads between 1999 and 2010. A slightly older page presenting mostly the same statistics (up to 2008) can be visited here; this earlier version was published in conjunction with several other articles, including one looking in-depth at a single crash and its aftermath in Stevenage in 2007.
posted by Dim Siawns on Dec 28, 2011 - 13 comments

Long Live Cheeta

News organizations from around the world are reporting on the death of Cheetah-Mike, the chimp who purportedly played Cheeta, the companion to Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan from the MGM and RKO film series of the 30s and 40s. If this is one of the original film Cheetas, it would make Cheetah-Mike, at 80, the longest-lived captive chimp on record. But there’s reason to doubt he’s both that old and was in the films with Weissmuller. First, because this is significantly longer than chimps usually live, and second because this has happened once before.
posted by Toekneesan on Dec 28, 2011 - 34 comments

Lives They Loved.

The Lives They Loved. The New York Times asked readers to send in a photo and short story of someone they lost this year.
posted by katinka-katinka on Dec 22, 2011 - 26 comments

Nethack over the Net

Here is the Nethack server at alt.org, Telnet link,  Java client, Flash client.  Here is a list of most of the ways to die in the game (dates back to 3.1.3).  And here are a lot of Nethack spoilers.
posted by JHarris on Dec 20, 2011 - 38 comments

60 Days to Live - to record the journey--however long or short it may be.

I've been advised by doctors to prepare for death. "I believe that there is strength in facing reality, and then planning your demise on your own terms as best you can. And hey, if a miracle happens and we beat the odds, that is only a bonus. Facing reality doesn't mean denying a possible happy outcome. Look at my case for instance--I have surpassed 60 days, and I am not dead yet. I haven't counted how many days I am past my expiration date, but one could say that each day is a miracle now." [more inside]
posted by jcterminal on Dec 14, 2011 - 44 comments

“I‘m not lying!”

This past August a murder charge was dismissed against Nga Truong, a young mother who had confessed to Worcester, MA Police interrogators in 2008 that she had smothered and killed her 13 month-old baby, Khyle. A judge later concluded that confession was coerced -- extracted in part by police "deception," "trickery and implied promises" -- and the case was dropped. (pdf). Her case raises questions: What coercive power do detectives have who are driven to extract confessions? Under what circumstances might someone admit to a crime they have not committed? WBUR (Boston's NPR station) investigated Truong's case and has an extensive report, Anatomy of a Bad Confession: Part One and Two [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 10, 2011 - 28 comments

Trial of the Will

Trial of the Will. "Reviewing familiar principles and maxims in the face of mortal illness, Christopher Hitchens has found one of them increasingly ridiculous: 'Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.' Oh, really? Take the case of the philosopher to whom that line is usually attributed, Friedrich Nietzsche, who lost his mind to what was probably syphilis. Or America’s homegrown philosopher Sidney Hook, who survived a stroke and wished he hadn’t. Or, indeed, the author, viciously weakened by the very medicine that is keeping him alive." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 8, 2011 - 27 comments

How Doctors Die

It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little.
How Doctors Die.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Dec 5, 2011 - 54 comments

Before their time

200+ Famous Musicians Who Died Too Young. Ordered by age, from 17 to 54, with brief descriptions and links to their last.fm pages.
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 4, 2011 - 71 comments

And this is how you die

How do people die in motor "accidents"? I'll tell you. With the Christmas "Silly Season" is upon us, the Age has republished And this is how you die by journalist Roger Aldridge. A warning - it's pretty graphic. Scroll up for the rest of the article.
posted by mattoxic on Dec 2, 2011 - 95 comments

RIP Patrice O'Neal

Comedian Patrice O'Neal passed away on Monday evening, following a stroke suffered in October. A few clips. Rest easy, Big Man.
posted by VicNebulous on Nov 29, 2011 - 50 comments

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